Name: James Holloman

Job Title: Business Leader, Green & Black’s Organic

Company: Kraft Foods

When did you join the company?

I joined directly into the Green & Black’s business unit in January 2010.


What makes your company stand out from others in the same sector?

It has changed the way many people around the world think about chocolate. Green & Black’s stands on its ethical credentials as well as having a really foodie, premium edge.


What is the most rewarding part of your job?

Meeting new people and telling them what I do, they always respond with, “Green & Black’s, I love your chocolate.”


What has been your biggest challenge?

Our organic procurement and our supply chain. There are so many more areas of complexity that other brands don’t have to deal with.


Which of your work achievements are you most proud of?

The business is now in a position of solid growth and much of that is due to the innovation agenda I drove on new flavours and developing a gifting range.


What are the most important developments coming up in your sector?

Sometimes chocolate is about reminding consumers about what they love in food and just doing it really well. With regard to premium chocolate, flavour innovation is key.


Which person/company operating in the food and drink sector do you most admire and why?

I think the Bacardi group does a great job of building and growing brands. Bombay Sapphire and Grey Goose are great examples of premium drinks brands that are an accessible luxury and yet sold in the supermarket.


What are your company’s most important ethical considerations?

Our ethical credentials are at the heart of what we do. We support cocoa farming communities in Belize and the Dominican Republic, from investing in farming practices and equipment to building fresh water tanks for the farming villages. All Green & Black’s products are Fairtrade and we are environmentally savvy with our organic practices. Cocoa and coffee sustainability is another core consideration.


Where would you like to see your company in five years’ time?

Once people break their perceptions of us being only a dark chocolate brand or that our taste is challenging, we will see solid growth with more people enjoying our premium chocolate. It’s just a matter of us continuing doing what we do well.


What would be your perfect meal?

Amazing traditional Mexican: Tacos Pibil for starter, for main an oven-roasted chicken in salsa verde or a chipotle pork, with an extra salty classic margarita on the rocks. For dessert Green & Black’s Vanilla Ice Cream with a homemade salted caramel sauce.

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